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Key Players in an Established Family Trust

Have you thought about using various estate planning strategies, such as a trust, to establish some level of control and clarity during your estate planning process? The establishment of a family trust might be one specific way in which you intend to accomplish this goal. 

There are several different key players involved in the establishment of a family trust, including the creator of the trust who is most often the person who possesses family wealth and has established an estate plan for the benefit of his or her family.

In addition to the trust creator, there are the beneficiaries of the trust who are typically the grandchildren or the children of the trust maker or settlor. These beneficiaries are the recipients of assets inside the trust in alignment with the terms established in the trust itself.

Additionally, there are other parties, such as secondary beneficiaries who are eligible to receive the trust assets in the event that some even occurs that triggers the passing of assets to another generation, such as if the primary beneficiary has passed away. The final key person involved in the management of a family trust is the trustee who manages or oversees the operation of the trust and directs assets inside the trust in accordance with the settlor’s instructions when the trust was established.

One party who might also become eligible to trust assets is a non-beneficiary spouse, i.e. someone who is married to a beneficiary in the trust. Many families using the family trust will engage in the process of asset protection planning to attempt to minimize the possibility that a soon to be ex-spouse will be able to tap into those assets.


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